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courts have more business than they can determine. Their complicated jurisdiction, and the great extent of country, occasions them a vast deal of business. The addition of the business of the United States would be no manner of advantage to them. It is obvious to every one that there ought to be one Supreme Court for national purposes. But the gentleman says that a bill of rights was necessary. It appears to me, sir, that it would have been the highest absurdity to undertake to define what rights the people of the United States were entitled to ; for that would be as much as to say they were entitled to nothing else. A bill of rights may be necessary in a monarchical government, whose powers are undefined. Were we in the situation of a monarchical country? No, sir. Every right could not be enumerated, and the omitted rights would be sacrificed, if security arose from an enumeration. The Congress cannot assume any other powers than those expressly given them, without a palpable violation of the Constitution. Such objections as this, I hope, will have no effect on the minds of any members in this house. When gentlemen object, generally, that it tends to consolidate the states and destroy their state judiciaries, they ought to be explicit, and explain their meaning. They make use of contradictory arguments. The Senate represents the states, and can alone prevent this dreaded consolidation ; yet the powers of the Senate are objected to. The rights of the people, in my opinion, cannot be affected by the federal courts. I do not know how inferior courts will be regulated. Some suppose the state courts will have this business. Others have imagined that the continent would be divided into a number of districts, where courts would be held so as to suit the convenience of the people. Whether this or some other mode will be appointed by Congress, I know not; but this I am sure of, that the state judiciaries are not divested of their present judicial cognizance, and that we have every security that our ease and convenience will be consulted. Unless Congress had this power, their laws could not be carried into execution.
Mr. BLOODWORTH. Mr. Chairman, the worthy gentleman up last has given me information on the subject which I had never heard before. Hearing so many opinions, I did not know which was right. The honorable gentleman has said that the state courts and the courts of the United States would have concurrent jurisdiction. I beg the committee to reflect what would be the consequence of such measures. It has ever been considered that the trial by jury was one of the greatest rights of the people. I ask whether, if such causes go into the federal court, the trial by jury is not cut off, and whether there is any security that we shall have justice done us. I ask if there be any security that we shall have juries in civil causes. In criminal cases there are to be juries, but there is no provision made for having civil causes tried by jury. This concurrent jurisdiction is inconsistent with the security of that great right. If it be not, I would wish to hear how it is secured. I have listened with attention to what the learned gentlemen håve said, and have endeavored to see whether their arguments had any weight; but I found none in them. Many words have been spoken, and long time taken up; but with me they have gone in at one ear, and out at the other. It would give me much pleasure to hear that the trial by jury was secured.
Mr. J. M’DOWALL. Mr. Chairman, the objections to this part of the Constitution have not been answered to my satisfaction yet. We know that the trial by a jury of the vicinage is one of the greatest securities for property. If causes are to be decided at such a great distance, the poor will be oppressed ; in land affairs, particularly, the wealthy suitor will prevail. A poor man, who has a just claim on a piece of land, has not substance to stand it. Can it be supposed that any man, of common circumstances, can stand the expense and trouble of going from Georgia to Philadelphia, there to have a suit tried ? And can it be justly determined without the benefit of a trial by jury? These are things which have justly alarmed the people. What made the people revolt from Great Britain ?. The trial by jury, that great safeguard of liberty, was taken away, and a stamp duty was laid upon them. This alarmed them, and led them to fear that greater oppressions would take place. We then resisted. It involved us in a war, and caused us to relinquish a government which made us happy in every thing else. The war was very bloody, but we got our independence. We are now giving away our dear-bought rights. We ought to consider what we are about to do before we determine.
Mr. SPAIGHT. Mr. Chairman, the trial by jury was not forgotten in the Convention ; the subject took up a considerable time to investigate it. It was impossible to make any one uniform regulation for all the states, or that would include all cases where it would be necessary. It was impossible, by one expression, to embrace the whole. There are a number of equity and maritime cases, in some of the states, in which jury trials are not used. Had the Convention said that all causes should be tried by a jury, equity and maritime cases would have been included. therefore left to the legislature to say in what cases it should be used ; and as the trial by jury is in full force in the state courts, we have the fullest security.
Mr. IREDELL. Mr. Chairman, I have waited a considerable time, in hopes that some other gentleman would fully discuss this point. I conceive it to be my duty to speak on every subject whereon I think I can throw any light; and it appears to me that some things ought to be said which no gentleman has yet mentioned. The gentleman from New Hanover said that our arguments went in at one ear, and out at the other. This sort of language, on so solemn and important an occasion, gives me pain. [Mr. Bloodworth here declared that he did not mean to convey any disrespectful idea by such an expression ; that he did not mean an absolute neglect of their arguments, but that they were not sufficient to convince him ; that he should be sorry to give pain to any gentleman ; that he had listened, and still would listen, with attention, to what would be said. Mr. Iredell then continued.] I am by no means surprised at the anxiety which is expressed by gentlemen on this subject. Of all the trials that ever were instituted in the world, this, in my opinion, is the best, and that which I hope will continue the longest. If the gentlemen who composed the Convention had designedly omitted it, no man would be more ready to condemn their conduct than myself. But I have been told that the omission of it arose from the difficulty of establishing one uniform, unexceptionable mode ; this mode of trial being different, in many particulars, in the several states. Gentlemen will be pleased to consider that there is a material difference between an article fixed in the Constitution, and a regulation by law. An article in the Constitution, however inconvenient it may prove by experience, can only be altered by altering the Constitution itself, which manifestly is a thing that ought not to be done often. When regulated by law, it can easily be occasionally altered so as best to suit the conveniences of the people. Had there been an article in the Constitution taking away that trial, it would justly have excited the public indiguation. It is not taken away by the Constitution. Though that does not provide expressly for a trial by jury in civil cases, it does not say that there shall not be such a trial. The reasons of the omission have been mentioned by a member of the late General Convention, (Mr. Spaight.) There are different practices in regard to this trial in different states. 'In some cases, they have no juries in admiralty and equity cases ; in others, they have juries in these cases, as well as in suits at common law. I beg leave to say that, if any gentleman of ability and knowledge of the subject will only endeavor to fix upon any one rule that would be pleasing to all the states under the impression of their present different habits, he will be convinced that it is impracticable. If the practice of any particular state had been adopted, others, probably, whose practice had been different, would have been discontented. This is a consequence that naturally would have ensued, had the provision been made in the Constitution itself. But when the regulation is to be by law, as that law, when found injudicious, can be easily repealed, a majority may be expected to agree upon some method, since some method or other must be first tried, and there is a greater chance of the favorite method of one state being in time preferred. It is not to be presumed that the Congress would dare to deprive the people of this valuable privilege. Their own ine terest will operate as an additional guard, as none of them could tell how soon they might have occasion for such a trial themselves. The greatest danger from ambition is in criminal cases. But here they have no option. The trial must be by jury, in the state wherein the offence is committed ; and the writ of habeas corpus will in the mean time secure the citizen against arbitrary imprisonment, which has been the principal source of tyranny in all ages.
As to the clause respecting cases arising under the Constitution and the laws of the Union, which the honorable member objected to, it must be observed, that laws are useless unless they are executed. At present, Congress have
powers which they cannot execute. After making laws which affect the dearest interest of the people, in the constitutional mode, they have no way of enforcing them. The situation of those gentlemen who have lately served in Congress must have been very disagreeable. Congress have power to enter into negotiations with foreign nations, but cannot compel the observance of treaties that they make. They have been much distressed by their inability to pay the pressing demands of the public creditors. They have been reduced so low as to borrow principal to pay interest. Such are the unfortunate consequences of this unhappy situation! These are the effects of the pernicious mode of requisitions! Has any state fully paid its quota ? I believe not, sir. Yet I am far from thinking that this has been owing altogether to an unwillingness to pay the debts. It may have been in some instances the case, but I believe not in all. Our state legislature has no way of raising any considerable sums but by laying direct taxes. Other states have imports of consequence. These may afford them a considerable relief; but our state, perhaps, could not have raised its full quota by direct taxes, without imposing burdens too heavy for the people to bear. Suppose, in this situation, Congress had proceeded to enforce their requisitions, by sending an army to collect them ; what would have been the consequence ? Civil war, in which the innocent must have suffered with the guilty. Those who were willing to pay would have been equally distressed with those who were unwilling. Requisitions thus having failed of their purpose, it is proposed, by this Constitution, that, instead of collecting taxes by the sword, application shall be made by the government to the individual citizens. If any individual disobeys, the courts of justice can give immediate relief. This is the only natural and effectual method of enforcing laws. As to the danger of concurrent jurisdictions, has any inconvenience resulted from the concurrent jurisdictions, in sundry cases, of the superior and county courts of this state? The inconvenience of attending at a great distance, which has been so much objected to, is one which would be so general, that there is no doubt but that a majority would always feel themselves and their constituents personally interested in preventing it. I have no doubt, therefore, that proper care will be taken to lessen this evil as much as pos